Ideas to maximise an internet cafe – Philippines

The first thing is to get an idea of your customers. Students for example love snack foods, need things printing or photocopying where people keeping in touch with family are more likely needing things like photo printing and sending photos.

Food stocks

Cold snacks :-

  • Potato chips.
  • Lollypops.
  • Ice cream.
  • Sweets.

Are all items that are easy to get hold of and also not expensive as well as being a wide selection with long sell by dates. There is a lot more that can be added to the list and please feel free to let me know what you find sells well for you.

Hot snacks :-

  • Squid Balls.
  • Pizza slices.
  • Fries.
  • BBQ sticks.
  • Burgers.
  • Noodles.
  • Rice based meals.

This is a small selection of hot meals but of done right take out orders could be a good business as well which could get people to spend more online. E.g. People buying pizza will sit in waiting for it to cook using the internet. People using the internet cafe may order take out after smelling the food cooking if not eating in the cafe. Ideally I would look to separate a lot of the foods from use near the computers a few chairs and tables outside for example or a small eating area.

Hot and Cold Drinks

  • Coffee + Teas
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruit drinks
  • Squash

The only drink I would advise not selling is alcohol it can encourage the wrong type of customers as well as people sitting around for long periods of time not actually using the cafe. But putting others off.

Go Wi-Fi

Being able to offer a Wi-Fi service (wireless internet) depending on your location could be the way to go as it encourages people with laptops to use you as a docking area. How you get this to work for you is up to you but maybe “free Wi-Fi Hotspot for buyers of snacks”.

Printing

This is an area that can make a lot of revenue as documents for students, ID cards, photo printing are all good ventures. But why not couple it with Vinyl printing? or business stationery? There is a lot of other opportunities you could be doing to get this to a premium. Although it will take a lot of work it will be worth it in the long run. Hot Press T-Shirt printing is another business venture that could pay for itself rather quickly especially if you can keep the costs down.

Photos

We discussed already about Photo printing but have you thought about actually dealing with taking the Photos? Can be done for ID cards or for internet usage. Keeping it cheap is the way forward and likely to get a lot of people using it for profile pictures. Adding a few drop down backgrounds. Getting these can be expensive but there is always cheap alternatives if you shop around and a bit of thinking. A tensioned white or black sheet. Try to keep it plain because it can be removed so people can add themselves into other backgrounds if wanted via something like Photoshop.

E-Training and training

There is huge potential for E-Learning which could be tied with Microsoft courses teaching things like Microsoft Word, Excel etc. online. But also things like Website design and accounting there is plenty of things to do but you need to market them correctly to get people involved and interested in the training. A sign on the door saying E-Training means nothing to most people but put on the door “Microsoft Office Training” or other similar signage will draw in more interest. Maybe offer free bite size 30mins – 1hrs training so people get to know what they are paying for could be the way to encourage people. But also remember a lot of this training doesn’t need to be online so you could have a few computers that are basic and just networked locally to the server.

Training people to use a computer and mouse may seem a bit odd in these times but the truth is there are generations of people still not computer literate.

Business Centre Services

One thing I noticed in Cebu is the lack of businesses that are online. This is a market you can tap into offering them an internet presence on a budget as well as other services such as email management for companies that are yet to be online themselves. I think this is going to be a part of your business that could end up splintering into a separate building if done properly. There is a lot of other things such as accounting and computerising stock controls etc. that can be built into this service as well as the obvious websites. Also telephone answering service and virtual assistants. Depending on the interest will depend how far you take this part of the business.

Hiring out the internet Cafe

Now there are several ways this could work some for companies just needing to hold a monthly meeting needing a bit of space.

Staff training is also something the internet cafe can offer not only for the company doing it itself but also can be negotiated to train the staff for them. Especially if its a company that is running outside the area that needs someone to update its staff on new products or software etc.

Group Bookings

you could do a package deal for peoples birthdays and LAN Gaming groups or teams. But I would try to keep this to your quiet times only. As shutting up shop for a private party isn’t the best way to deal with you regular customers. Because if they go somewhere else they are unlikely to come back.

Hire and repairs

Hiring out equipment can also be a good way to make a regular income. Doesn’t have to be the obvious such as a complete computer system. But other things like a camcorder, digital cameras, sound equipment, TVs, Gaming consoles, Projectors etc. How you explore this avenue depends on your local demand.

Computer repairs on the other hand offer you the ability to expand your business as it can be a key part to your business. As well as offering upgrades and add on services. There is scope to sell items such as webcams but also setting them up for people is a good way of increasing income either via fixed in house fee where they bring the PC base unit to you. Or in the clients home.